Willow Creative: A Reflection on Bethel

Written by Amaris Bullock, vocalist at Willow Creek.

I have loved Bethel music for a long time. Years ago when I watched a powerful worship service from their church on YouTube, I was amazed that I could feel the presence of God through my computer screen. My eyes were full of tears and I had goosebumps along my arm- the lyrics of their songs, the passion behind the artists, and their overall authenticity and raw love for Jesus were captivating for my tired and weary heart.

Fast forward a few years to this past weekend, when Bethel Music came to our church. I was once again captivated by a particular song with the lyric line

“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God. Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine.”

That particular “ninety-nine” lyric caught my attention and I was compelled to look up the exact scripture it came from. It reads like this: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?... I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:4,7. I was reminded that God fights, chases, and pursues His children. He isn’t impressed with “righteous persons” who feel they are above doing wrong. He longs for the humble and broken-hearted; who willingly admit their wrongdoings and surrender to God’s love.

Similarly, others in our worship team were struck by this song called “Reckless Love” that Jen Johnson sang this past weekend. It is originally written by Cory Asbury, another bethel worship leader. We were all so moved by it, that I hope you join us this weekend as we incorporate it into our own worship set. As we sing it, I hope you also join us in singing it with full voice- believing and trusting that these words are true of our merciful God:

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn't earn it I don't deserve it
Still You give yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.”



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